Ring of Fire:The most active Volcanoes including El Hierro, Canary Islands – September, 2011
The most active volcanoes in the Ring of Fire including the El Hierro (Volcano) Canary Islands and the Etna in Italie the past week (September 14 to September 20).
We restrict ourselves in this article to the volcano activity in the Ring of Fire and on the worrying situation in the Canary Islands.
CLEVELAND (Chuginadak Island): AVO reported that during 13-17 September no lava-dome activity in Cleveland’s summit crater was observed in partly cloudy satellite images. During 17-18 September a thermal anomaly was detected in satellite images. A report on 20 September noted that recent observations revealed the lava dome had grown to about 165 m in diameter, remained contained within the crater, and was 20 m below the E crater rim
ETNA (Sicily (Italy): Sezione di Catania – Osservatorio Etneo reported that the fourteenth eruption from Etna’s New SE Crater in 2011 occurred during poor weather conditions on 19 September.Lava fountains rose from multiple vents within the crater and lava flows descended the W slope of the Valle del Bove. An ash plume drifted NE; ash and lapilli fell in an area to the N of Giarre (16 km E). The main phase of the event lasted from about 1020 until just after 1300. During the evening the lava flows were active and weak spattering continued from avent at the SE base of the SE Crater cone.
HIERRO Canary Islands (Spain): Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN) reported more than 900 seismic events at Hierro island during 8-19 September, three of them felt by residents. The total number of located earthquakes had reached more than 7,200 since anomalous activity began on 16 July, with patterns alternating between relatively calm and high-energy periods. The GPS local network showed similar deformation rates compared to previous weeks.
BATU TARA Komba Island (Indonesia):
Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC
reported that during 13-20 September ash
plumes from Batu Tara rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l.
and drifted 25-75 km W, WNW, and NW.
BEZYMIANNY Central Kamchatka (Russia): KVERT
reported that during 9-15 September seismic activity at Bezymianny was low. An observer in the area on 6 September noted thatlava
continued to effuse on the SSE flank. TheAviation Color Code
remained at Yellow.
FUEGO Guatemala: INSIVUMEH
reported that during 13-14 September explosions from Fuego producedash
plumes that rose 800 m above the crater. The explosions occasionally produced shock waves detected 7 km away. Incandescence at night emanated from the crater and from avalanches on the flanks. During 15-16 September cloud cover prevented observations of the crater but explosions were heard. Block avalanches descended the flanks and an ash plume drifted 7 km W. During 19-20 September explosions produced ash plumes that rose 500 m above the crater and drifted W.
KARYMSKY Eastern Kamchatka (Russia): KVERT
reported that seismic activity continued at a moderate level at Karymsky during 9-15 September, and indicated that possible ash
plumes rose to an altitude of 4.6 km (15,100 ft) a.s.l.
during 13-14 September. An observer in the area noted that ash explosions produced ash plumes all week that did not rise higher than 3.5 km (11,500 ft) a.s.l. A thermal anomaly was detected daily in satellite imagery and ash plumes drifted 80 km E and SE during 11-12 and 14 September. The Aviation Color Code
remained at Orange.
KILAUEA Hawaii (USA):
During 14-20 September, HVO
reported that the level of the lava-lake surface in the deep pit within Kilauea’s Halema’uma’u crater periodically fluctuated and circulated. Daily measurements indicated that the gas plume from the vent
continued to deposit variable amounts of ash
and occasionally fresh spatter
KIZIMEN Eastern Kamchatka (Russia): KVERT
reported that during 9-15 September volcanic tremor magnitude at Kizimen continued to increase; 1,200-1,500 earthquakes were recorded daily. A thermal anomaly on the volcano was detected in satellite images. Lava
on the E flank continued to flow and video images showed strongfumarolic
activity. The Aviation Color Code
remained at Orange.
PUYEHUE-CORDON CAULLE Central Chile:
Based on seismicity during 14-16 and 18-20 September, OVDAS
reported that the eruption from the Cordón Caulle rift
zone, part of the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex, continued at a low level. Although cloudy weather mostly prevented observations of the vent, a plume was observed in satellite imagery drifting 60 km E on 14 September, and the next day, a plume observed by an area camera rose 4 km above the crater and drifted SE. Plumes observed in satellite imagery drifted 40-70 km N and NW during 18-20 September. Plumes observed during 19-20 September by an area camera rose 3-4 km above the crater. According to a news article, on 17 September the first commercial plane landed at the airport in Bariloche, about 60 km SE, since the airport had closed on 4 June. Private planes had been occasionally using the airport since mid-July. The Alert Level remained at Red.
SAKURA-JIMA Kyushu (Japan):
Based on information from JMA
, the TokyoVAAC
reported that during 14-20 September explosions from Sakura-jima produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.2-3 km (4,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l.
and drifted S, SW, W, and NW. On 14 September a pilot observed anash
plume that rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W.
SANTA MARIA Guatemala: INSIVUMEH
reported that during 13-16 September lava
flows were active on the SW and SE flanks of Santa María’s Santiaguitolava dome
complex. Avalanches from the lava-flow fronts also descended the flanks. Ash plumes drifted ENE. An explosion accompanied by rumbling generated an ash
plume that rose 700 m above the crater and drifted SW. On 15 September a small lahar
traveled down the Rio Nima II drainage. Incandescence emanated at night during 15-16 September from the lava flows and during 15-16 and 19-20 September from the crater.
SHIVELUCH Central Kamchatka (Russia): KVERT
reported that seismic activity at Shiveluch was moderate during 9-15 September, and indicated that possible ash
plumes rose to altitudes of 6.5 km (14,100 ft) and 10.3 km (33,800 ft) a.s.l.
on 9 and 11 September, respectively. Ground-based observers noted ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 4.7 km (15,400 ft) a.s.l. on 9 September and fumarolic
activity on 9 and 14 September. A thermal anomaly on the volcano was also observed in satellite imagery on 9 and 13 September. The Aviation Color Code
remained at Orange.
The worrying situation in the Canary Islands
The Canary Islands government has set the ‘yellow alert’ for the population of El Hierro as a lot of volcanic tremors are continuing to occur below the island since last July.
Main reason for the alert increase where the increasing number of volcanic earthquakes as well as deformations (up to 30 mm change from the beginning). www.emergenciaselhierro.org.
Additional: A map of recent earthquakes in the ring of fire
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